Africa Edition

Africa Features
Racist attacks – Will African students shun India?
Maina Waruru
Following what are widely regarded as racist attacks on Nigerian students in India in March, there are concerns that the violence could contribute to making the country a less attractive destination for African students seeking higher education outside the continent. Photo credit: BBC
Africa Features
Academics, students help end constitutional change bid
Tunde Fatunde
The country’s academic community was an active part of the successful bid to stop the current president, Patrice Talon, from altering the nation’s constitution in order to arguably give more powers to the president and erode those of the judiciary and legislature.
Creating the ecosystems needed for science to thrive
Munyaradzi Makoni
The African Academy of Sciences, founded in 1985, aspires to shape the continent’s strategies and policies and implement key science, technology and innovation programmes. University World News spoke to its new interim executive director, Dr Thomas Kariuki, about how the organisation intends to drive scientific and technological development in Africa.
Africa Analysis
Unmasking the doctorate
Sioux McKenna
The significance of the doctorate has been both overemphasised and underemphasised in dominant conceptualisations, with implications for how we understand the purpose and value of this important qualification.
Special Report
The Role of the Diaspora in Higher Education
The Conference on the Role of the Diaspora in the Revitalization of African Higher Education was held at Harvard University in the United States from 30-31 March. Hosted by the Harvard University Center for African Studies, it was sponsored by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation, the United States International University – Africa, the University of Johannesburg, and Harvard University.
Minister calls for less state meddling in universities
Sarah Sweeney
Kenya’s education minister has called for African governments to pull away from direct management of their country’s universities, saying such meddling is unnecessary and can hinder the development of effective management.
Staying connected in the diaspora – A key to development
Sarah Sweeney
Managing the relationship and defining the obligations on African scholars who pursue studies on other continents is a complex issue with no easy answer, but maintaining some form of connection is widely regarded as important for Africa’s development.
Putting higher education first
Sarah Sweeney
African governments must prioritise education and adjust policy accordingly, according to Phillip Clay, professor emeritus and former chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
Cyber-security – A critical new academic discipline?
Sarah Sweeney
The role of technology is rapidly expanding the possibilities of education, but how can African countries harness that potential to transform the educational system overall? Diaspora experts can certainly help, particularly in the field of cyber-security.
Africa Briefs
French research into African education is ‘invisible’
In spite of interest in the field, French research into education in African and other developing countries is badly structured and poorly supported, making its findings virtually invisible, a study reveals.
Protesting student killed during police confrontation
The funeral took place last week of a student who died during student protests which had led to confrontations with police at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. The university was closed for five days, and more than 80 students were charged with taking part in an illegal demonstration and other offences, but were acquitted.
Academy for marine sciences due to open
An academy of halieutic and marine sciences is due to open this year in Moçâmedes, initially with places for 540 students who will follow a variety of courses, the State Secretary for Fisheries, Antónia Nelumba, has announced.
World Blog
How to avoid being on the wrong side of history
Grace Karram Stephenson
Charged with elitism and being out of touch, there are a number of things universities can do to address some of the issues thrown up by the political upheavals of the past year, including realigning research to tackle societal challenges, promoting independent thought and becoming more open institutions.
Academic Freedom
Time for Bologna to stand up for academic freedom
Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon
The attack on the Central European University marks a critical moment for the European Union. Silence implies weakness. It is time for Bologna to break with the convention of not making announcements between political meetings and seize the opportunity to defend academic freedom.
World Round-up
Province appoints Party chiefs in private universities
New HE internationalisation scheme unveiled
The PIE News
Shiite militias prepare for education 'revolution'
Minister predicts reduced need to send students abroad
New Straits Times
More college graduates are coming home, figures show
‘We’re in a desperate fight to keep our university open’
PM forced to soften stance on foreign student numbers
Universities redesign libraries for the 21st century
Los Angeles Times
Private universities urged to improve training, brand
VietNamNet Bridge
Senate approves free public universities
Students could soon get to choose their university
Tanzania Daily News
Call for stronger education partnerships with Europe
Jakarta Globe
University law programmes to make changes after review
Eye Witness News
First-in-family data ‘lacks robustness’
The Australian
Africa News
New bill seeks to turn universities into industrial hubs
Kudzai Mashininga
Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a new Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill that will, among other impacts, turn universities into industrial hubs and criminalise the issuing or receiving of degrees from unaccredited institutions, according to the country’s higher education minister.
World Bank forum calls for private sector to build skills
Christabel Ligami
The private sector should expand its support for skills-building in Africa, with both resources and technology, the World Bank said at its Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology forum in Nairobi.
Universities face seachange over diplomas and doctorates
Gilbert Nganga
Kenyan universities will be allowed to offer both degrees and diplomas following a policy reversal that has thrown institutions a major lifeline in a tight regulatory environment. And in another dramatic policy reversal, the government has announced that the requirement that only academics with doctorates are eligible to be lecturers was counterproductive and hurting the sector.
Europe-North Africa HE cooperation plan unveiled
Wagdy Sawahel
In efforts to promote cooperation in science, technology, innovation and higher education, five countries of the Arab Maghreb Union and five European countries have approved a two-year cooperation plan aimed at stimulating economic growth, job creation and social cohesion in the Western Mediterranean region.
Universities forge new partnership with industry
Reuben Kyama
Kenyan universities, in conjunction with leading industry stakeholders, have launched a digital sustainability platform in an effort to curb the growing skills gap, according to top-ranking officials.
Three African centres of excellence launched
Christabel Ligami
Kenya has launched three African Centres of Excellence in universities with support from the World Bank.
Global News
UNESCO – Affordability is key to inclusive HE expansion
Brendan O'Malley
UNESCO has called on governments never to allow student loan repayments to rise above 15% of their monthly incomes and has recommended a package of measures to ensure that the current rapid expansion of higher education globally does not leave the disadvantaged behind.
Government listens to universities’ fears over visas
Brendan O'Malley
The government has agreed to address concerns raised by universities over proposed changes to 457 work visas, Universities Australia said on Thursday. The Group of Eight, comprising Australia’s eight leading research-intensive universities, voiced fears that the changes would put at risk Australia’s AU$21.8 billion (US$16 billion) international education industry.
University officials linked to lynching of student
Ameen Amjad Khan
Pakistan's apex court has started hearing of the case of the mob lynching of Mashal Khan, a student at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, after the crowd heard false accusations that he committed blasphemy. One student has alleged that university officials put pressure on him to testify that Mashal had committed blasphemy, which helped to stir up the mob.
Ministry backs down on greater control of universities
Jan Petter Myklebust
Minister of Higher Education and Science Søren Pind has dropped the ministry’s controversial proposal to select the heads of the governing boards of universities after an agreement in parliament with the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democratic Party. The proposal was strongly opposed by universities and professional organisations.
Refugee university student numbers rising steeply
Michael Gardner
Whereas overall numbers of refugees entering Germany have been on the decline since last year, five times more are enrolled on university courses than six months ago, says a survey by the German Rectors' Conference.
EU students given pledge on loans and fee status
The government on Friday confirmed that European Union students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, masters, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in the academic year 2018-19 and will pay the same fees as United Kingdom students throughout their course, including after the UK leaves the EU.
Employment status given to all doctoral candidates
Jan Petter Myklebust
The Swedish government has changed the university law to ensure every doctoral candidate is made an employee of the university with a salary. This should strengthen the position of foreign PhD students, who make up more than half of the country’s 19,000 doctoral candidates. But problems with resident status and visa regulations remain.
Visa change could hit recruitment of foreign students
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education
A new Trump administration executive order clamping down on the H-1B visa programme for highly skilled foreigners has the potential to roil American campuses and depress their recruitment of international students. For the latter, the opportunity to stay on and work in the United States, even temporarily, after graduation is a key attraction.
Row over politician meddling in university positions
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O’Malley
A secretary of state has demanded that a PhD student give up his grant because of views he gave to a magazine questioning the value to society of people with Down’s Syndrome, but academics say it is unheard of for a politician to interfere in university recruitments.
Global Commentary
Steps to counter radicalisation of students by IS
Mohd Mizan bin Mohammad Aslam
Young people are particular targets for Islamic State or IS recruitment drives and several university and college students have been arrested in Malaysia for links with the terrorist organisation. More can and needs to be done to dissuade students from being radicalised.
Why universities need to embrace all types of ‘other’
Gary Rhoades
In response to the rise of right-wing populism, universities need to do more to democratise the societies in which they are situated by improving the opportunities and lives of social class ‘others’ both nationally and internationally, instead of relegating them to educational oblivion via policies, practices and belief systems in academe.
Can Vietnam buck the Trump effect on recruitment?
Mark Ashwill
Latest figures for international students in the United States show significant decreases in students recruited from seven of the top 10 places of origin. The ‘Trump effect’ and the price of oil are among the forces at play. Vietnam is one of the few countries with rising enrolments. Will the trend continue?
Confronting racial inequality in the academy
Jason Arday
Racial discrimination within United Kingdom universities remains problematic and continues to be a persistent barrier for Black and minority ethnic individuals attempting to progress in postgraduate study or in an academic career. University administrators must be held accountable for advancing diversity of staff and student populations.